Looking for a TV producer to develop the below adventure!
"Burb in the Bush"
On a recent South African "safari" up near the Cullinan mine, where the famous "Star of Africa diamond was discovered in 1905, I found my own "diamond in the rough"- a rare left hand drive, 5-7 seater '61 Chevrolet Suburban. Incredibly, after lying out under the harsh African sun for the last 30 years, the body had only minor urface rust. Granted it needed a bit of mechanical work but the only thing that really concerned me was the badly damaged, (yellow/black) curved windscreen. The owner, Monty (83), a sun baked, wily African Boer offered to sell it to me. Somewhat amused, I told him I'd think it over and set off to check out another classic - a '35 Chevy Pick Up, on the Skeleton Coast, a heavily restricted diamond mining area in Namibia.
On route up to the Namibian border, I took a detour to check out a rare '53 Chevy hearse, lying abandoned in a local funeral parlour. This hearse looked like something you'd see in an early Bond film or used by Papa Doc's dreaded secret police, the Ton ton Macute to "voodoo" terrorize local Hatians. The somewhat suspicious, burly looking Afrikaaner who, after discovering I was an Irishman and not a "Brit" (these guys have long memories of the Anglo-Boer war!) agreed to sell me the vehicle. I knew this weather beaten hearse would be no problem to rent out on a Cape Town shoot and certainly compliment my other movie "prop" classics. Or maybe I'd paint it black / cream, tint the windows and approach Guinness (my favourite drink) to see if they'd be interested in launching a unique marketing campaign. "Dead on Time" wouldn't be a bad slogan!
Driving through the sweltering Namibian desert, my thoughts kept returning to that "burb in the bush". As a Chevrolet enthusiast, I just couldn't leave it there to "RIP" (rust in peace!) This old classic had plenty of life left in it. A few hours later, over a well earned, cold beer in the Namibian coastal town of Luederitz, I was still thinking about Monty's "burb in the bush" when another idea flashed into my head...... Why not fix it up and take it on a trip up to Kenya looking for abandoned "bush" classics? Better still, why not film this exciting adventure! After 6 years working in the Cape Town film industry, I had some great contacts (crew/equipment/post) I'm felt sure a lot of viewers were fed up with all those reality shows. Here was a real, live African adventure - unusual cars, spectacular scenery and interesting owner interviews about their cars / life in Africa. Who knows, if the "doccie" was well received, I could head to South America or anywhere, tracking down more abandoned classics!
The trip would start in Cape Town, up through South Africa, into Botswana, stopping to view some wildlife in the Okavanga Delta and continuing on up to Vic Falls. Who knows maybe drop into Zim and see what Mugabe had stashed in his garage! After Zim, I'd follow the Zambesi, through Zambia / Malawi / Tanzania and on into Kenya. The old "burb in the Bush" was ideal vehicle to travel through Africa. It was rugged, good ground clearance for all those pot holed, dirt roads, plenty of room for heavy film equipment, spare parts were easy to get and these old Chevs were great workhorses. In Nairobi, I could do all the post production at a friend's film studio and then concentrate on pre-selling the "doccie" to various TV networks like National Geographic, BBC and so on. If the "doccie" was well received, I could drive down to Mombasa, ship the "burb" to Buenos Aires and explore South America, crssing the Andes into Chile. Maybe even up to Central America. Mind you with all those pirates off the Kenyan coast, there's a risk the "burb" would end up ferrying a load of AK-47 pirates around Somalia which wasn't exactly in my plans!
There was just one problem - dosh. Sadly, I wasn't exactly flush having lost many of my '40's -'60's collection of Bentleys / Chevy Pick Ups in a bad fire at my lock up - a careless, African admirer dropped a cigarette butt on a pool of petrol. Now that I've fully recovered from some serious burns to both hands/arms, I'm keen to get back to what really matters - tracking down, abandoned classics ! But if I was serious on filming this African "bush" classic adventure, I'd have to find a partner. I felt pretty confident any investment would be taken care of from DVD / TV network sales..... Any interested adventurous TV producer out there?
(Some African "bush" discoveries (movie prop vehicles), including the "burb in the bush" and '53 Chevy hearse)